Tamar and the Townspeople

“He asked the townspeople, ‘Where is the temple prostitute who was at Enaim by the wayside?’ But they said, ‘No prostitute has been here.’”—Genesis 38:21

A wink and a smile….that’s what I imagine the townspeople doing after the man asked where she was. They were going to show him. A woman is not defined by her actions.

In seminary, I attended a J term course on domestic violence. One of the places we visited was Genesis House in Chicago. I remember the humanity and vulnerability I saw in these women as they shared their stories of escaping through prostitution. They were more than faces in a crowd. I saw them fully as beloved children of God.

Tamar, Bathsheba, Rahab, Ruth, and Mary are beloved children of God too. Tamar is not who others say she is. She is a mother. She is badass and I love how the townspeople advocate for her in this story. He is going to have to look a lot longer and harder for her. And she isnt going to let him get by because he’s already screwed his brother over in death. If she has the last word, she’s going to screw him over.

Tamar shows us what it means to be a badass woman in the Bible!

Badass Tamar

“But since Onan knew that the offspring would not be his, he spilled his semen on the ground whenever he went in to his brother’s wife, so that he would not give offspring to his brother.”—Genesis 38:9

Semen and blood spilled out

A mighty grudge he held

Even in death screwing his brother over

What the hell?

Onan must have been hanging onto one heck of a grudge. He did everything in his power to make sure his brothers name would not be carried on. Spilling his seamen on the ground. Dirty, unholy. Tamar is ultimately the result of this grudge.

Oh what a mighty woman she is. Still carrying this child. Tamar a harlot in many aspects of the word. But truly Tamar is a woman of God called to carry out a promise; to carry on the promise of the gospel.

I want to be a badass like Tamar!

The Commodity of Time

“It happened at that time that Judah went down from his brothers and settled near a certain Adullamite whose name was Hirah.“—Genesis 38:1 (NRSV)

Advent is upon us. And the season of Advent is all about time. Time to prepare for the birth of this newborn king. Time for Mary to bear the Christ child. Time for Tamar to bore her sons. Time for all of us to prepare for what is to come.

Tamar and Mary along with so many women understand the commodity of time. Nine months their bodies carried a child. Nine months to bring about justice for the world. Nine months that remind us of the power of a woman. Nine months that lead to a holy disruption; the cries of the newborn king to rouse a deaf world.

A deaf world that often forgets that time is a commodity in our world. We need these holy cries to remind us that we need time for peace not war. Time for life and time for death. And time with those we love. The truth is that time is a gift and often that gift can be lost so easily.

So this Advent season, I want to use my time more wisely, I want to use my time; time to pray for peace, time to pray for love, time to pray for those who are grieving. But most of all, to dwell in the time that has been given me.

Time to wait, watch, and wonder what is to come. To wait for this holy child who comes as the light in the midst of the darkness. To wait for Emmanuel; God with Us.”

God’s Promise

Today is the weekly Five Minute Friday! Today’s word prompt is “unknown.”

Sometimes our future, our next step is unknown to us. Yet God has a plan for all of us. God knows us by name. We are not unknown to God!

I take great comfort in the words of Jeremiah 29:11. “Fir I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper and not harm you.”

There are days I still wonder what God is up too. But I trust in God’s promise. God knows every hair on my head. God knows where I am needed.

God says, “Tara, my beloved child, you are loved. And I promise to never leave you or forsake you.”

Unsettled

Today is the weekly Five Minute Friday! Today’s word prompt is “settle.”

Empty shelves

Bare walls

Boxes scattered to and fro

A sense of unsettledness

The kitties confused

Wondering why their home

is in disarray.

Wondering what’s next

Where is a God calling me next?

Listening to the Holy Spirit

Wishing and praying

that God will show up

Sooner rather than later.

My soul is not settled

Waiting and yearning

Longing to be settled again.

An Important Lesson

Today is our weekly Five Minute Friday. This week’s word prompt is “last.”

When I worked at Bible camp, I learned many lessons from my campers. Jesus knew what he was saying when he said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

One week, I had a group of campers that were overly whining. We always did trivia to see who would be first to eat at meals etc. This week, my girls were always last because they’d whine and could never get the trivia question because they were too busy whining about something.

One day, my friend Nick was in charge of the trivia. I kept sharing with this group that the “first shall be last and the last shall be first.” Nick told them he’d let them go first for a meal if they could go twenty four hours without whining. He would check in with me the next day.

These girls however couldn’t go more than a few hours. So they didn’t get to go first the next day. I kept repeating the “first shall be last and the last shall be first.” I hope they learned something that week and carried this lesson with them into their adult lives.

Halloween

Day 31 of 31! Woo hoo!! Today’s word prompt is “enjoy.”

Today is Halloween! I loved picking out costumes when my sister and I were younger. We sometimes made our own costumes with moms help of course. One year we crafted a sandwich costume!

I so enjoy seeing all my social media filled with pictures of my friends kiddos in their costumes. My friend Sarah had her five kids (two biological, two adopted, and one foster child) dressed as the Wizard of Oz…Glenda the good witch, the tin man, the scarecrow, the lion, and Dorothy. I saw pictures of cute pumpkins, a frog, an adorable hedgehog and many many others.

I enjoy dressing up too. I was a black cat this year. I’ve been an 80s girl, Where’s Waldo and Parmesan cheese. I also enjoy passing out candy to trick or treaters. This year I only had one.

A Good Memory

Day 30 of 31 Days. Today’s word prompt is “memory.”

I have a very good memory. I remember details about an event that many others don’t. It might be the style of shirt, the color or what time it was. I remember what I was wearing when I lost my job a few years ago. Green leggings, tan short boots and a flowery Irma with blues, yellows, etc.

I don’t know why but I remember names too. I think it might be because of camp games we played to learn our campers names. It’s a quality that is named as one of my strengths. Parents are surprised how well I remember names.

There are memories in my own life I treasure. The day my kitties came home with me. The days I graduated from high school, college and seminary. When I bought my first car this summer. The changing of seasons. Special times with my friends and family. And so many others!!

Perfect Peace

Day 29 of 31. Today’s word prompt is “practice.”

Practice, practice, practice! Those are words we often hear when we are trying to learn something new. When I played the clarinet, I had to practice a lot because learning an instrument didn’t come easy to me. The more I practiced the better I got. Yet I never gained perfection.

As a writer, it seems I am always practicing and honing my writing skills. Each new word tells a better story as I expand my vocabulary and help my readers to feel like they are there with me. Practice does make perfect….or at least much better.

Honestly, I don’t think my writing or even I will ever be perfect. There will be editing and proofing mistakes that no matter how much I read my piece, I’ll still miss them. God is the only one who is perfect. God is the perfect peace given to all of us.

The Test of Faith

Day 28 of 31 Days. Today’s word prompt is “test.”

Life often throws obstacles at us. Death, the dreaded C word, natural disasters, a broken marriage, the loss of a child. The list goes on and on. It is often during these times that our faith is tested. Will we come through on the other side a better person?

I know that my faith has been tested during my 41 years of life. But it was during these times that God truly showed up. God showed me that I was not alone. God would never leave me or forsake you. God never leaves you or forsakes you either.

These tests are not tests that we can study for like a test in school. But Scripture is here for us to turn to during these tests of life. One of my fave Scriptures is Psalm 30:5. “Weeping comes for the night, but joy comes with the morning.” Also during death, from the book of Romans, I love the promises in these verses. “If you live, you live to the Lord. If you die, you die to the Lord. So then, whether you live or whether you die, you are the Lords.”